Values-Based Wealth Planning

Creating values-driven, tax-efficient wealth transfer plans for your family  

Wealth planning rooted in your values

Through our values-based wealth planning practice, we help families thrive. We work with you, your family and your team of advisors to identify your values, priorities and mission. Our experienced wealth planners collaborate with your legal and tax advisors to design and implement a wealth and estate plan that is driven by your personal goals and values and aligned with your overall investment strategy.

The future is unknowable, so as wealth transitions through generations or to charity, and as legal and tax rules change, our planners proactively work with you and your team to ensure your plan is designed to be resilient and durable. We then help you decide if, when, how and to what extent to communicate your plans to those you love.

What We Believe: Principles of Successful Wealth Planning

Adrienne Penta, the executive director of the BBH Center for Women & Wealth, and Alison Hutchinson, a senior wealth planner, focus on the topic of families, wealth and communication, discussing the guiding principles that we believe help families create life-affirming, enduring, effective wealth plans.

Storytelling in Wealth and Legacy

We look at the art and science of storytelling as an important tool for navigating wealth planning and family legacies.

At BBH, wealth planning is dynamic and includes so much more than just tax and trusts. We help families thrive by linking succession plans to real life.

Before You Sell the Family Business: Valuable Estate Planning Strategies

What should be front of mind when planning to sell your business? BBH Senior Wealth Planners Ali Hutchinson and Karin Prangley review some key estate planning considerations for business owners preparing for a sale.

We the Family: The Benefits of Creating a Family Constitution

Senior Wealth Planners Karin Prangley and Anne Warren cover an important topic for private business owners: creating a family constitution to enable seamless business and wealth transitions.

How We Can Help 

After a series of significant liquidity events, a couple was seeking assistance regarding when and how to communicate with college-age children about their newly realized wealth. The couple asked for guidance on how much and when to transfer wealth to children, as well as help discussing philanthropic aspirations.

BBH took a step back and began with an in-depth discussion with the couple in order to understand better the family’s history and values, hopes and dreams for the role of wealth in their lives. Next, we facilitated a broader discussion exploring long-held beliefs, family tension, expectations and opportunities for greater connectivity. Finally, we worked with the family’s estate planning attorney and accountant in order to help ensure the final wealth succession plan reflected the family history, values and goals and would enrich rather than burden the children.

A business owner approached BBH when she made the decision to sell her company. Initially, she wanted help determining the value of the business and hiring an investment banker, but after we reviewed the tax implications of the sale and her goals for her family and future business endeavors, she asked to learn more about pre-sale tax planning options.

Using the business owner’s goals and values as a backdrop, we outlined and discussed each of the mechanisms that might make sense for her situation. We then coordinated with her accountant and trusts and estates attorney to craft a tax-efficient plan that was designed to accomplish her objectives related to her family and philanthropy. She transferred an interest in the business to a trust for the benefit of her descendants and another piece of the business to a donor-advised fund prior to the sale. These structures allowed her to maximize the benefit for her family and charity while simultaneously minimizing both the capital gains tax consequences of the sale and the transfer tax consequences of the gift to her family.  

A third-generation family-owned manufacturing business decided to sell a large interest in the business to a nonfamily member. The California-based family realized that the way they managed the business following the partial sale would have to change, and the family needed guidance on how to make the transition. The family would become less involved in the business’s day-to-day management, and there would be less transparency about performance and strategy.

BBH conducted a detailed review of the many trusts that owned an interest in the business and learned that the trustee wanted to be replaced. The trustee, a beloved uncle, did not know the new management team and thought that a professional trustee would be a better fit to exercise the family trusts’ rights in the business following the sale. BBH Trust Company of Delaware became trustee, and the trusts’ law and tax residence was immediately changed to Delaware. The shift to Delaware provided several advantages to the trust beneficiaries, such as enhanced asset protection, and nearly eliminated all California state income tax on the trusts. BBH Trust Company worked in-depth with each trust beneficiary to establish a new budget and estate plan to account for the significant increase in family wealth as a result of the transaction.

Since the sale many years ago, BBH hosts biannual family shareholder meetings where the family can engage management regarding the performance and strategy surrounding the business. We conduct interviews with each family member prior to the meeting to understand each family shareholder’s questions and to anonymize sensitive topics. BBH also helps management prepare for these family shareholder meetings so that the family will feel that their questions and concerns are being addressed.

Let us help you and your family build a plan designed to achieve your objectives. Email us at

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1Source: Williams, Roy O., and Vic Preisser. Preparing Heirs: Five Steps to a Successful Transition of Family Wealth and Values.

This communication is for informational purposes only. The information herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual investor’s circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. Individuals should consult their personal tax, accounting and legal advisers regarding any potential investment or strategy. Any views and opinions are subject to change at any time.

This material does not constitute an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where or to any person to whom it would be unauthorized to do so.

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